From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [1]

In the church of Rome, a tribunal, in several Roman Catholic countries, erected by the popes for the examination and punishment of heretics. This court was founded in the twelfth century, under the patronage of pope Innocent, who issued out orders to excite the Catholic princes and people to extirpate heretics, to search into their number and quality, and to transmit a faithful account thereof to Rome. Hence they were called inquisitors, and gave birth to this formidable tribunal, call the Inquisition. That nothing might be wanting to render this spiritual court formidable and tremendous, the Roman pontiffs persuaded the European princes, and more especially the emperor Frederick II. and Lewis IX. king of France, not only to enact the most barbarous laws against heretics, and to commit to the flames, by the ministry of public justice, those who were pronounced such by the inquisitors, but also to maintain the inquisitors in their office, and grant them their protection in the most open and solemn manner. The edicts to this purpose issued out by Frederick II. are well known; edicts sufficient to have excited the greatest horror, and which rendered the most illustrious piety and virtue incapable of saving from the cruellest death such as had the misfortune to be disagreeable to the inquisitors.

These abominable laws were not, however, sufficient to restrain the just indignation of the people against those inhuman judges, whose barbarity was accompanied with superstition and arrogance, with a spirit of suspicion and perfidy; nay, even with temerity and imprudence. Accordingly, they were insulted by the multitude in many places, were driven in an ignominious manner out of some cities, and were put to death in others; and Conrad, of Marpurg, the first German inquisitor who derived his commission from Gregory IX. was one of the many victims that were sacrificed on this occasion to the vengeance of the public, which his incredible barbarities had raised to a dreadful degree of vehemence and fury. This diabolical tribunal takes cognizance of heresy, Judaism, Mahometanism, sodomy, and polygamy; and the people stand in so much fear of it, that parents deliver up their children, husbands their wives, and masters their servants, to its officers, without daring in the least to murmur. The prisoners are kept for a long time, till they themselves turn their own accusers, and declare the cause of their imprisonment, for which they are neither told their crime, nor confronted with witnesses.

As soon as they are imprisoned, their friends go into mourning, and speak of them as dead, not daring to solicit their pardon, lest they should be brought in as accomplices. When there is no shadow of proof against the pretended criminal, he is discharged, after suffering the most cruel tortures, a tedious and dreadful imprisonment, and the loss of the greatest part of his effects. The sentence against prisoners is pronounced publicly, and with extraordinary solemnity. In Portugal they erect a theatre capable of holding three thousand persons, in which they place a rich altar, and raise seats on each side, in the form of an amphitheatre. There the prisoners are placed, and over against them is a high chair, whither they are called one by one to hear their doom from one of the inquisitors. These unhappy persons know what they are to suffer by the clothes they wear that day; those who appear in their own clothes are discharged on paying a fine; those who have a santo benito, or strait yellow coat without sleeves, charged with St. Andrew's cross, have their lives, but forfeit all their effects; those who have the resemblance of flames made of red serge sewed upon their santo benito, without any cross, are pardoned, but threatened to be burnt if ever they relapse; but, those who, besides those flames, have on their santo benito their own picture surrounded with devils, are condemned to expire in the flames.

The inquisitors, who are ecclesiastics, do not pronounce the sentence of death, but form and read an act, in which they say, that the criminal, being convicted of such a crime, by his own confession, is with much reluctance, delivered to the secular power, to be punished according to his demerits: and this writing they give to the seven judges, who attend at the right side of the altar, and immediately pass sentence. For the conclusion of this horrid scene, see ACT OF Faith We rejoice however, to hear, that in many Roman Catholic countries, the inquisition is not shut. May the God of mercy and love prevent its ever being employed again!

See Baker's History of the Inquisition; and Limborch's History of the Inquisition, translated by Chandler; a View of the Inquisition in Portugal in Geddes's Tracts; Lavalle's History of the Inquisition.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( n.) A court or tribunal for the examination and punishment of heretics, fully established by Pope Gregory IX. in 1235. Its operations were chiefly confined to Spain, Portugal, and their dependencies, and a part of Italy.

(2): ( v. t.) To make inquisistion concerning; to inquire into.

(3): ( n.) The finding of a jury, especially such a finding under a writ of inquiry.

(4): ( n.) Judicial inquiry; official examination; inquest.

(5): ( n.) The act of inquiring; inquiry; search; examination; inspection; investigation.

King James Dictionary [3]

INQUISI'TION, n. s as z. L. inquisitio,inquiro. See Inquire.

1. Inquiry examination a searching or search.  Psalms 9 2. Judicial inquiry official examination inquest.

The justices in eyre had it formerly in charge to make inquisition concerning them by a jury of the county.

3. Examination discussion. 4. In some catholic countries, a court or tribunal established for the examination and punishment of heretics. This court was established in the twelfth century by father Dominic, who was charged by pope Innocent III. with orders to excite catholic princes and people to extirpate heretics.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [4]

(Inquisitio Heretic Sanctum Officium) is the name given to a tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church, whose function is to seek out and punish heretics and unbelievers. It is a degenerated and perverse form of the old Church discipline, originally in the hands of the rural bishops, on whom devolved the duty of checking false doctrines, and who, for the purpose of spying out rising heresies, made frequent visits to the churches of their diocese. Upon such heretics, when discovered, they inflicted several punishments, the severest of which, however, was only excommunication. Another punishment frequently resorted to was banishment; but capital punishment on account of one's faith was not inflicted by Christians until the 4th century. The first instance of legally enforcing the death-penalty against Christians occurred under the emperor Theodosius the Great (382), who opposed and aimed at uprooting all heresy, especially that of Manichaeism (Schaff, Ch. Hist. 2, 141 sq.). Under this emperor, and under Justinian, judges (inquisitores) were first appointed to examine heretics with a view to enforcing upon them punishments, if found guilty; and, in order to enable the ecclesiastical officers to execute their functions, the civil authorities surrendered for this purpose to the bishops the right of exercising the requisite jurisdiction in their several dioceses. Most frequently the ban only was pronounced by the ecclesiastics, leaving it to the civil officers to add other and more severe punishments. In the 8th century the rights of the ecclesiastics in exterminating heresy were put on a firmer basis by synodal courts, but it was not until the 12th century that it became a. general institution in the Christian Church.

Establishment of the Inquisition in France. At the synod of Verona. in 1184, certain directions were given to the bishops "concerning heretics," who at this time formed a very formidable enemy of the Romish Church, more especially in the south of France. The sects had become so numerous that some of them, such as the Cathari (q.v.), the Albigenses (q.v.), and the Waldensians (q.v.), threatened the very existence of the papal hierarchy, and this led Innocent III (q.v.) in 1198 to dispatch the Cistercians Raineri and Guido, and in 1206 Peter of Castelnau and Raoul, as papal legates to France, to assist the bishops and the civil authorities in punishing all heretics with the utmost rigor. But. to efface forever the last vestige of heresy, Innocent III determined to make a permanent institution of the Inquisition, "the most formidable of all the formidable engines devised by popery to subdue the souls and bodies, the reason and the consciences of men, to its sovereign will."

Accordingly, the fourth Lateran Council (1215) made the persecution of heretics the chief business of synodal courts, in the form that every archbishop or bishop should visit, either personally, or through the archdeacon, or some other suitable person, the parish in which, according to rumor (in qua fama fuerit), there were heretics, and put under oath two or three of the inhabitants of irreproachable character, or, if necessary, all the inhabitants, to point out those who were known as heretics or those who held secret meetings, or departed from the faithful in their walk and conduct. The refusal to take oath justified the suspicion of heresy, haereticae pravitatis; the careless bishop was deposed (comp. Biener, Beitrage z. d. Gesch. des Inquisitionsprozesses [Lpz. 1827], p. 60 sq.). In name, the bishops still conducted the matter, but the legates had supervision over them and, in fact, conducted the persecution of heretics. In 1229 the Council of Toulouse confirmed this decision of the fourth Lateran Council, and published forty-five decrees to complete the institution of episcopal inquisition (see Mansi, 23, 192; Planck, Gesch. d. Kirchl. Gessellshaftsverfassung, 4, 2nd half, 463 sq.).

It was decided that each bishop should appoint in each district one priest and two or three laymen in good standing, who should devote themselves exclusively to ferreting out heretics, and then deliver them up to the archbishops, bishops, or other authorities for punishment. Every one guilty of concealing a heretic forfeited thereby his land possessions or offices; the house in which a heretic was found was to be torn down. In case of sickness, however severe, no heretic or unbeliever was to be allowed the aid of a physician; penitents were to leave their home, to wear a peculiar dress, and could hold no office except by a special dispensation from the pope. But, notwithstanding these rigid and definite regulations, and notwithstanding the great zeal of the legates in urging the execution of the laws by the bishops, the see of Rome did not even approach the desired end. To accomplish this more certainly, the affairs of the Inquisition were taken from the bishops, and made a papal tribunal, and the bishops themselves were subjected to it. Accordingly, Gregory IX appointed, in 1232, in Germany, Aragonia, and Austria, in 1233 in Lombardy and South France (see Beziers, anno 1233, in Mansi, 23, 269 sq.; Raynald, Annal. a. 1233, n. 59 sq.), the Dominicans (q.v.) permanent papal inquisitors (later also the Franciscans became such). "The solitude and retirement of which these monks made profession, but of which, as it appeared in the sequel, they soon began to tire, afforded them leisure to attend incessantly to this new calling. The meanness of their dress, the poverty of their monasteries, and, above all, the public mendicity and humility to which they bound themselves, could not fail to make the office of inquisitors one that flattered any relic of natural ambition which might yet lurk within their minds.

The general renunciation which they made, even of the names of the families from which they sprang, must have gone a great way towards stifling those sentiments which the ties of kindred and civil connections generally inspire. Besides, the, austerity of their rules, and the severity which they were continually practicing upon themselves, were not likely to allow them to have much feeling for others. Lastly, they were zealous, as possessors of newly established religions commonly are; and they were learned, after the fashion of the times; that is to say, well versed in scholastic quibbles and in the new canon law. Moreover. they had a particular interest in the suppression of heretics, who were incessantly declaiming against them, and who spared no pains to discredit them in the minds of the people. On these monks, therefore, the pope conferred the office of inquisitors of the faith, and they acquitted themselves in such a manner as not to disappoint his expectations" (Shoberl, Persecutions of Popery, 1, 103, 104). So much eagerness did they display in hunting up and prosecuting heretics, that a popular pun changed the name of Dominicans into Domini canes (the dogs of the Lord). To preserve the Church, however, from the charge of blood-guiltiness, the civil authorities were made the executioners of its judgments, and orders to that effect were caused to be issued in 1228 by Louis IX of France, in 1233 by Raymond of Toulouse, and in 1234 by Frederick II, the emperor of Germany.

According to the regulations, the suspicion of heresy was sufficient cause for imprisonment; accomplices and culprits were deemed competent witnesses; the accused was never informed of his accusers, nor confronted with them; confession was extorted by torture, which, applied at first by the civil authorities, was afterwards, for the sake of secrecy, entrusted to the-inquisitors themselves. To enlarge also the sphere, and last, but hardly least, to increase the pecuniary income of the Inquisition, a very wide meaning was given to the word heresy. It was not confined to views which departed from the dogmas of the Church, or to sectarian tendencies, but was made to include usury, fortune-telling by the hands, signs: lots, etc., insulting the cross, despising the clergy, pretended connection with the leprous, with Jews, demons and the devil, demonolatry, and witchcraft. The punishments were of three kinds: Upon those who recanted, besides penance in the severest form which the court might enact, was frequently inflicted even the deprivation of all civil and ecclesiastical rights and privileges, and the sequestration of goods; upon those not absolutely convicted, imprisonment for life; upon the obstinate or the relapsed, the penalty of death-death at the stake, death by the secular arm. "The Inquisition with specious hypocrisy, while it prepared and dressed up the victim for the burning, looked on with calm and approving satisfaction, as it had left the sin of lighting the fire to pollute other hands." As if these horrible treatments of fellow-beings were not bad enough, pope Innocent IV in a bull (De extirpanda) in the year 1252, ordained that accused persons should be tortured, not merely to induce them to confess their own heresy, but also to compel them to accuse others. Such was the organization of the Inquisition in the 13th century "a Christian code, of which the basis was a system of delation that the worst of the pagan emperors might have shuddered at as iniquitous; in which the sole act deserving of mercy might seem to be the. Judas-like betrayal of the dearest and most familiar friend, of the kinsman. the parent, the child ... No falsehood was too false, no craft too crafty, no trick too base for this calm, systematic moral torture, which was to wring further confession against the heretic, denunciation against others. If the rack, the pulleys, the thumbscrew, and the boots were not yet invented or applied, it was not in mercy. Nothing that the sternest or most passionate historian has revealed, nothing that the most impressive romance-writer could have imagined, can surpass the cold, systematic treachery and cruelty of these so-called judicial formularies" (Milman, Latin Christianity, 6:32, 33).

The excessive cruelties, however, of the inquisitors, their knavery even in accusing the innocent and robbing them of their possessions, exasperated the people, and they rose up-against the inquisitors. At Toulouse and Narbonne the inquisitors were banished in 1235, and four of them killed in the former city in 1242, and the pope was finally obliged to suppress the tribunal at the former place altogether. When at last restored, the inquisitorial tribunal resumed its former cruelty, until Philip the Fair (A.D. 1291) ordered the civil officers to exercise great caution in acting on the accusations made by the inquisitors. But what insurrections and royal edicts in France could not accomplish, ecclesiastico political events, such as the papal schism in the 14th, and the reformatory councils in the 15th century, were caused to bring about.

The former crippled the power of the hierarchy with the latter, and limited thereby the power of the Inquisition, so that it now proceeded against secret or suspected heretics only on the accusation of sorcery and connection with the devil (compare the Breve of Nicholas V, in Raynald, a. 1451). In the 16th century, the time of the Reformation, the clergy, supported by the Guises, were able to rekindle violent persecutions against the Huguenots (q.v.), and endeavored to restore the Inquisition to its former power, but it had now lost its territory. Paul IV, it is true, published a bull (April 25,1557) to re-establish it (Raynald, a. 1557, no. 29), and Henry II compelled Parliament to pass a corresponding edict; but Paul, who on his death-bed commended the Inquisition as the main support of the Romish Church (Schr Ö ckh, Kirchengesch. seit d. Reformations, 3:248 sq.), died in 1559, and the new attempt to re-establish it failed; so that in France, where it took its rise first, it was also first discontinued, in spite of priest craft and Jesuitism. The Inquisition in Germany. But from France the Inquisition soon cast its net over neighboring and distant countries, even beyond the ocean, by the aid of the Jesuits. Almost immediately after its firm establishment in France, the Inquisition spread to Germany. The first inquisitor was Conrad of Marburg, who organized the "holy office" with terrible severity during the years 1231-1233.

The sentences of death which this new tribunal pronounced were not few in number, and of course they always obtained the approval of the emperor, Ferdinand II. But there was a higher power than that of the reigning prince, which had been lost sight of; and though the people's voice was in those dark days not quite so powerful as in our own, it certainly sufficed to thwart the iniquitous designs of these "holy officers." So energetically did the people and the nobles oppose the Inquisition, that it could carry out its sentences in a very few cases only. In 1233 the lower class of the people, always ready to execute judgment, took the law into their own hands, and Conrad of Marburg was slain in the streets of Strasburg. It was not really until the 14th century that the Inquisition can be said to have been properly established in Germany. It was at this time that the Beghards (q.v.) made their appearance. To suppress them, pope Urban V appointed in 1367 two Dominicans as inquisitors, who engaged in a regular crusade against the new sect, and sustained by three different edicts of the emperor Charles IV, rendered in 1369, failed not to repeat in Germany the cruel practices of the French brethren of their order. Encouraged by their successes against the Beghards, and by the, to them, so favorable attitude of the emperor, pope Gregory XI increased in 1372 the number of the inquisitors to five, and in 1399 Boniface IX appointed no less than six of these "holy men" for such "holy" work for the north of Germany alone. But in proportion as the reformatory tendencies gained ground in Germany, the Inquisition lost its foothold. A desperate effort was made by Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer, two inquisitors appointed by Innocent VIII, under the plea of a prosecution of sorcerers and witches only. They even influenced the pope to publish the bull (Sulmmis desiderantes affectibus) in 1484 (Dec. 5) which reaffirmed the doctrines previously set forth concerning heresy in regard to sorcery and witchcraft, and the punishment by the Inquisition of those guilty of such crimes.' To justify their harsh dealings as executors of the Romish dicta, and to hide their iniquitous work behind the screen of devotion to the cause of Christ, they published a code called "Hexenhammer" (Malleus maleficorum), in accordance with which the prosecution was to be carried on. In this way they proceeded to condemn and execute a large number of persons. The Reformation at last completely overthrew the power of the Inquisition in Germany, and the attempts-to re- establish it, made mostly by the Jesuits, with an endeavor to check the progress of evangelical truth, as in Austria, Bohemia, and Bavaria (where a tribunal of the Inquisition was formally established in 1599), proved ineffectual, and of short duration.

In Italy the Inquisition was introduced under the direction of the Dominicans in 1224, but it was not until 1235 that it was firmly established as a tribunal by pope Gregory IX. Just here it may not be amiss to state that Lacordaire, in his Life of Dominic (Works, 1, 95 sq.), seeks to relieve the memory of Dominic, and also the Dominican order, of the special odium which attaches to them from their agency in establishing and conducting the Inquisition (compare Hare, Contest with Rome, p. 284- 292). The Dominicans certainly cannot be freed from this charge, which is too well founded, and the efforts of a Lacordaire even must prove to be in vain. But to return to the tribunal of Gregory IX. It was at this time intended especially against the Waldenses, who had fled from the south of France to Piedmont, and now threatened to infect all Italy with their doctrines. Later its power was directed against other heretics; but the papal schism and the political commotions which agitated the country greatly weakened its power. The free states of which Italy was then composed neither could nor would long bear the arbitrary and vexatious proceedings" of the Inquisition; and "about the middle of the 14th century measures were generally adopted to restrain its exorbitant power, in spite of the opposition made by Clement VI and the censures which he fulminated.

The right of the bishops to take part with the inquisitors in the examination of heretics was recognized; they were restricted to the simple cognizance of the charge of heresy, and deprived of the power of imprisonment, confiscation, fine, and corporal punishment, which was declared to belong solely to the secular arm" (M'Crie, Ref. in Italy, p. 189; comp. Galluzzi, Istor. del Granducato di Toscano, 1, 142, 143). But such a mode of procedure the Church of Rome found to be ineffectual for suppressing free inquiry, and maintaining hierarchical authority, after the new opinions began to spread in Italy; and as in Germany and the south of France, so also here, the bishops in many instances having become lukewarm, some even dared to manifest a humane feeling towards those who chose to differ from them in religious views; the accused often suffered only very slight punishment, or were permitted to escape before the necessary orders for their arrest were issued. On these accounts pope Paul III finally resolved, at the instigation of cardinal John Peter Caraffa, to strengthen the power of the inquisitors by the establishment of the "Congregation of the Holy Office" (1534), with cardinal Caraffa (afterwards Paul IV) at their head, which the more zealous of the Romanists considered the only means of preserving Italy from being overrun with heresy. A constitution for a supreme and universal Inquisition at Rome was promulgated July 21, 1542, and operations commenced under it in 1543.

Six cardinals now received the title and rights of inquisitors general, and authority was given them on both sides of the Alps "to try all causes of heresy, with the power of apprehending and incarcerating suspected persons and their abettors, of whatsoever estate, rank, or order, of nominating officers under them, and appointing inferior tribunals in all places, with the same or with limited powers" (M'Crie, Ref. in Italy, p, 189 sq.; comp. Chandler's Limborch, Hist. of the Inquisition, 1, 151; Llorente, Histoire de Inqui. 2, 78). But while the inquisitors were to extirpate heresy and punish heretics, the vicar of Christ reserved for himself the graces of reconciliation and absolution. In the arrogance which Rome has ever manifested, the power which belonged to the judge was withdrawn, and the power of life and death over the subjects of the different governments of the world asserted to belong to the papal see. Of course the new cardinal inquisitors made full use of their powers, and soon became the terror not only of Rome and Italy, but of all the countries over which they could possibly exert any influence. The Inquisition was especially severe against the press. "Books were destroyed, and many more disfigured; printers were forbidden to carry on their business without licenses from the Holy Office." (See Index).

The terror- stricken people, however, soon gained their foothold again, and oppositions against the encroachments of Rome were everywhere manifest. The greatest resistance to it was offered in Venice. The republic refused to submit to an inquisitorial tribunal responsible solely to the pope, and, after long negotiations, permitted only the establishment of an inquisitorial tribunal on condition that, with the papal officers, a certain number of magistrates and lawyers should always be associated, and that the definitive sentence should not, at least in the case of laics, be pronounced before it was submitted to the senate (Busdragi Epistola: Scrinium Antiquar. 1, 321, 326 sq.; Thuani. Hist. ad an. 1548). In Naples like difficulties between the government and the pope arose on the endeavor of the latter to establish the inquisitorial tribunal Twice the Neapolitans had successfully resisted its establishment in their country at the beginning of the 16th century. In 1546, the emperor Charles V, with the view of extirpating the Lutheran heresy, renewed the attempt, and gave orders to set up that tribunal in Naples, after the same form in which it had long been established in Spain. The people rose in arms, and although Rome would have been only too glad to see this formidable tribunal established in Naples, yet, rather than to forego the introduction of an inquisitorial tribunal altogether, she took the part of the people against the government, and encouraged them in their opposition by telling them that they had reason for their fears, because the Spanish Inquisition (see below) was extremely severe. Here. it may be well to quote M'Crie (Ref. in Italy, p. 253 sq.) on the truth of this assertion, which many Protestant as well as Roman Catholic writers have not failed to repeat and urge in favor of the tendency to mercy at Rome. Says M'Crie: "Both the statement of the fact and the reasons by which it is usually accounted for require to be qualified. One of these reasons is the policy with which the Italians, including the popes, have always consulted their pecuniary interests, to which they postponed every other consideration. (Compare the opposition of the papacy to the Inquisition as a state institution in Portugal, below.)

The second reason is that the popes, being temporal princes in the States of the Church, had no occasion to employ the Inquisition to undermine the rights of the secular authorities in them, as in other countries. This is unquestionably true; and it accounts for the fact that the court of the Inquisition, long after its operations had been suspended in Italy, continued to be warmly supported by papal influence in Spain. But at the time of which I write, and during the remainder of the 16th century, it was in full and constant operation, and the popes found that it enabled them to accomplish what would have baffled their power as secular sovereigns. The chief difference between the Italian and Spanish Inquisitions at that period consisted in their respective lines of policy as to the mode of punishment. The latter sought to inspire terror by the solemn spectacle of a public act of justice, in which the scaffold was crowded with criminals. The report of the autos da fe (q.v.) of Seville and Valasdolid blazed at once over Europe; the executions of Rome made less noise in the city because they were less splendid as well as more frequent, and the rumor of them died away before it could reach the ear of foreigners." But all that Rome could accomplish in Naples, in spite of her cunning, was the establishment of an independent Inquisition, such as Venice had permitted. In Sicily, on the other hand, Spain furnished a general inquisitor, and, though abolished for a time, the office was restored in 1782, and remained in force until Napoleon, as king of Italy, did away with it throughout the realm in 1808.

The fall of Napoleon, of course, at once enabled the papal see to re-establish the Inquisition, but, though Pius VII improved the opportunity (in 1814), it did not spread far, and met with great opposition. In Sardinia, where Gregory XVI restored it in 1833, it was not discontinued until the Revolution of 1848 again did away with it. "In Tuscany it was arranged that three commissioners, elected by the congregation at Rome, along with the local inquisitor, should judge in all causes of religion, and intimate their sentence to the duke, who was bound to carry it into execution. In addition, it (the Holy Office) was continually soliciting the local authorities to send such as were accused, especially if they were either ecclesiastical persons or strangers, to be tried by the Inquisition at Rome." Everywhere within the territory persecution was let loose. Especially during the political reactions of 1849 the inquisitorial tribunal was perhaps nowhere so active and so severe in its dealings as in Tuscany (compare Ranke, History of the Papacy, 2, 156 sq.). It is only since the embodiment of that province with Italy (1859) that the country got rid of this great curse, from which all Italy suffered; and "popish historians" certainly "do more homage to truth than credit to their cause when they say that the erection of the Inquisition was the salvation of the Catholic Church in Italy." It certainly does not verify itself in our own days, though the tribunal of the Inquisition still exists at Rome, under the direction of a congregation, and though the last ecumenical council, which the landless pope, Pius IX, has just declared adjourned sine die, has but lately passed two canons (canon 6 and canon 12, De Ecclesia Christi) in its favor. Its action, by the circumstances of the day, is mainly confined to the examination of books, and to the trial of ecclesiastical offences and questions of Church law,-as in the late case of the Jewish boy Mortara; and its most remarkable prisoner in recent times was an Oriental impostor, who, by means of forged credentials, succeeded in obtaining his ordination as a bishop.

The Inquisition was introduced into Poland by pope John XXII in 1327, but it did not subsist there very long; and all attempts of Rome to introduce it into England were in vain.

Spanish Inquisition. "The life of every devout Spaniard," says Milman (Latin Christianity, 5, 239), "was a perpetual crusade. By temperament and by position he was in constant adventurous warfare against the enemies of the Cross: hatred of the Jew, of the Mohammedan, was the banner under which he served; it was the oath of his chivalry: that hatred, in all its intensity, was soon and easily extended to the heretic." No wonder, then, that pope Gregory IX, after the Inquisition had assumed general form in France and Germany, introduced it into Spain, and that it proved to be a plant on a most congenial soil; for it was in Spain that "it took root at once, and in times attained a magnitude which it never reached in any other country." It was first introduced into Aragon, where, in 1242. the Council of Tarragona gave the instructions which were to serve the "holy office" erected here as elsewhere by the Dominicans. "Accustomed, in the confessional, to penetrate into the secrets of conscience, they (the Dominicans) converted to the destruction of the bodies of men all those arts which a false zeal had taught them to employ for the saving of their souls. Inflamed with a passion for extirpating heresy, and persuading themselves that the end sanctified the means, they not only acted upon, but formally laid down, as a rule for their conduct, maxims founded on the grossest deceit and artifice, according to which they sought in every way to ensnare their victims, and by means of false statements, delusory promises, and a tortuous course of examination, to betray them into confessions which proved fatal to their lives and fortunes.

To this mental torture was soon after added the use of bodily tortures, together with the concealment of the names of witnesses" (M'Crie, Ref. in Spain, p. 85 sq.). The arm of persecution was directed with special severity, in the 13th and 14th centuries, against the Albigenses (q.v.), who, from the proximity and political relations of Aragon and Province, had become numerous in the former kingdom. Indeed, the persecutions appear to have been chiefly confined to this unfortunate sect, "and there is no evidence that the holy office,' notwithstanding papal briefs to that effect, was fully organized in Castile before the reign of Isabella. This is, perhaps, imputable to the paucity of heretics in that kingdom. It cannot, at any rate, be charged to any lukewarmness in its sovereigns, since they, from the time of St. Ferdinand, who heaped the fagots on the blazing pile with his own hands, down to that of John the Second, Isabella's father, who hunted the unhappy heretics of Biscay, like so many wild beasts, among the mountains, had ever evinced a lively zeal for the orthodox faith." Upon the whole, the progress of the Inquisition during the 14th century was steady, and its vigor and energy constantly on the increase. Its jurisdiction the inquisitors succeeded in enlarging, and they severally multiplied its ramifications; autos da f É (q.v.) were celebrated in a number of places, and its victims were not a few.

"By the middle of the 15th century the Albigensian heresy had become nearly extirpated by the Inquisition of Aragon, so that this infernal engine might have been suffered to sleep undisturbed from want of sufficient fuel to keep it in motion, when new and ample materials were discovered in the unfortunate race of Israel." "The new Christians,' or converts,' as those who had renounced the faith of their fathers were denominated, were occasionally preferred to high ecclesiastical dignities, which they illustrated by their integrity and learning. They were entrusted with municipal offices in the various cities of Castile; and as their wealth furnished an obvious resource for repairing, by way of marriage, the decayed fortunes of the nobility, there was scarcely a family of rank in the land whose blood had not been contaminated at some period or other by mixture with the mala sangre, as it came afterwards to be termed, of the house of Judah; an ignominious stain which no time has been deemed sufficient wholly to purge."

Many of these noble men, of a race that can lay claim to the highest nobility that exists among men, felt that the irksome task of dissimulation which they had undertaken was too much below the dignity of a true Israelite, and rather than enjoy the favors of a nation as apostates from a religion which they still held to be the only true one (and who would expect that Romish treatment and Romish Christian example could instill confidence and produce impressions favorable to the cause of Christ?), preferred an open confession of the opinions which they cherished in their hearts, even at the expense of losing positions of prominence to which they were ably fitted, but from which, as is too often the case even in our own day, their religious convictions, if openly avowed, not only debarred them, out which even endangered their very life. But Romish priests could not, of course, be expected to tolerate heresy in any form, "especially the Dominicans, who seem to have inherited the quick scent for heresy which distinguished their frantic founder; they were not slow in sounding the alarm, and the superstitious populace, easily roused to acts of violence in the name of religion, began to exhibit the most tumultuous movements, and actually massacred the constable of Castile in an attempt to suppress them at Jaen, the year preceding the accession of Isabella" (Prescott, Ferdinand and Isabella, 1, 235 sq.). After the union of Spain under one kingdom, governed by Ferdinand and' Isabella, towards the close of the 15th century, the Inquisition became general. It was at this time that the inquisitorial tribunal underwent "what its friends have honored with the name of a reform; in consequence of which it became a more terrible engine of persecution than before.

Under this new form it is usually called the Modern Inquisition, though it may with equal propriety bear the name of the Spanish, as it originated in Spain, and has been confined to that country, including Portugal, and the dominions subject to the two monarchies.... The principles of the ancient and modern Inquisition were radically the same, but they assumed a more malignant form under the latter than under the former. Under the ancient Inquisition the bishops always had a certain degree of control over its proceedings; the law of secrecy was not so rigidly enforced in practice; greater liberty was allowed to the accused on their defense; and in some countries, as in Aragon, in consequence of the civil rights acquired by the people, the inquisitors were restrained from sequestrating the property of those whom they convicted of heresy.

But the leading difference between the two institutions consisted in the organization of the latter into one great independent tribunal which, extending over the whole kingdom, was governed by one code of laws, and yielded implicit obedience to one head. The inquisitor general possessed an authority scarcely inferior to that of the king or the pope; by joining with either of them, he proved an overmatch for the other; and when supported by both, his power was irresistible. The ancient Inquisition was a powerful engine for harassing and rooting out a small body of dissidents; the modern Inquisition stretched its iron arms over a whole nation, upon which it lay like a monstrous incubus, paralyzing its exertions, crushing its energies, and extinguishing every other feeling but a sense of weakness and terror" (M'Crie, Ref. in Spain, p. 86, 103). Most prominent among those who were active in bringing about this new order of things were the archbishop of Seville, Petro Gonzalez de Mendoza, the Franciscan (afterwards cardinal) Ximenes, and the Dominican prior Torquemada. But to the credit of Isabella be it said, that it was only her zeal for the cause of her Church that led her, when misguided, to commit the unfortunate error; "an error so grave that, like a vein in some noble piece of statuary, it gives a sinister expression to her otherwise unblemished character" (Prescott). Indeed, it was only after repeated importunities of the clergy, particularly of those- whom she believed to be sincere as herself in the zeal for the Romish religion, and only these when seconded by the arguments of Ferdinand, who, to his shame be it said, favored the project because he believed it likely to result in filling his coffer by means of confiscations, that she consented to solicit from the pope a bull for the establishment of the "holy office" in Castile.

"Sixtus IV, who at that time filled the pontifical chair, easily discerning the sources of wealth and influence which this measure opened to the court of Rome, readily complied with the petition of the sovereigns, and expedited a bull bearing date Nov. 1, 1478, authorizing them to appoint two or three ecclesiastics inquisitors for the detection and suppression, of heresy throughout their dominions" (Prescott, 1, 248,249). The appointment of these officers was made Sept. 17, 1480, the clergy in confidence with the queen professing to have failed in their attempts "to illuminate the benighted Israelites by means of friendly exhortation and a candid exposition of the true principles of Christianity," which Isabella had counseled before violent measures were resorted to January 2,1481, the new inquisitors commenced their proceedings in the Dominican convent of St. Paul, at Seville. But the tribunal did not really assume a permanent form until two years later, when the Dominican monk Thomas de Torquemada, the queen's confessor, subsequently raised to the rank of prior of Santa Cruz in Segovia, was placed at its head as inquisitor general first of Castile, and afterwards of Aragon. "This man, who concealed more pride under his monastic weeds than might have furnished forth a convent of his order, was one of that class with whom zeal passes for religion, and who testify their zeal by a fiery persecution of those whose creed differs from their own; who compensate for their abstinence from sensual indulgence by giving scope to those deadlier vices of the heart, pride, bigotry, and intolerance, which are no less opposed to virtue, and are far more extensively mischievous to society" (Prescott, 1, 247).

Torquemada at once set about his work, appointing his assessors, and erecting subordinate tribunals in different cities of the united kingdom. Over the whole was placed the Council of the Supreme, consisting of the inquisitor general as president, and three counselors, two of whom were doctors of law. His next employment was the formation of a body of laws for the government of his new tribunal. This appeared in 1484; additions to it followed from time to time; and as a diversity of practice had crept into the subordinate courts, the inquisitor general Valdes in 1561 made a revisal of the whole code, which was published in eighty-one articles, and continues, with the exception of a few slight alterations, to be the law to this day. They are substantially as follows: the accused was invited three times edictaliter to appear. If he did not come before the tribunal, he was excommunicated il contumaciam, and condemned to pay a fine, under reservation of more severe punishment if the Inquisition saw fit to apply such. Seldom did any one escape, for familiars, the holy Hermandad, and the Congregation of the Cruciada tracked mercilessly all who were denounced to the Inquisition. If the accused appeared before the court he was at once seized, and from that moment all his relations and friends were to abandon him as an outlaw, and he was not even permitted to give proofs of his innocence.

The prisoner and his house were now thoroughly searched, especially for papers or books, a list taken of all his possessions, and in general, his goods sequestered at once, to provide beforehand for the expenses of his trial. His hair was cut to make his recognition more certain in case he should escape, and he was placed in a dark cell. If he confessed his real or imputed sin, he did indeed escape with his life, as his confession was considered a proof of repentance, but he and all his family were dishonored, and became incapable of holding any office. If he asserted his innocence, and there was not sufficient proof against him to condemn him, he was liberated, but carefully watched by the familiares as an object of suspicion, and generally was soon arrested a second time. Now commenced against him the real, slow trial of the Inquisition, conducted after the Directorium Inquisitorium of the grand inquisitor of Aragon, Nicolas Eymericus. When the prisoner refused for acknowledge his fault at the first interrogatory, he was remanded to prison; after many months he was again brought forth, and asked to swear before a crucifix that he would tell the truth. If now he did not confess, he was immediately considered guilty, otherwise he was plied with leading questions until thoroughly bewildered.

The defender was not allowed to take his client's part, but only to invite him to declare the truth. Witnesses were not named, and their testimony the truth' of which they were not required to prove, was only made known in disconnected fragments, and years after it had been given. Any sort of testimony was admitted. Two witnesses who would only testify of a hearsay were considered equivalent to an eye-witness. The accuser was examined as a witness. Friends and members of the family were also admitted to testify, but only against the prisoner, never in his favor. If the accused still persisted in asserting his innocence, he was now tortured by the whip, the water, and fire, under the direction of the inquisitors and the bishop of the diocese. If the prisoner then confessed, he was tortured a second time, to make him declare his motives, and afterwards a third time, to make him name his accomplices; and when the inquisitors had obtained from him all they wanted, they left him to his sufferings, without allowing a physician to assist him.

After this confession the prisoner was considered penitent, yet recantation was still demanded of him de levi; if heresy or Judaism was his crime, devehementi; and when he became reconciled to the Church, informa, which latter included a free assent to all further punishments the Inquisition might yet see fit to inflict on the penitent. After that he was generally condemned to imprisonment for life, or sent to the galleys, his possessions sequestered, and his family dishonored. Those who confessed and recanted at once were punished only by having to wear for a certain time the sanbenito (q.v.), a frock without sleeves, with a red cross of St. Andrew before and behind, over a black underfrock (comp. Encyclop. Britan. 12, 390). The penitent (sanbenitado) who laid it aside before the appointed time was considered as unrepenting; when he had accomplished his penance, the sanbenito was hung up in the church with a card bearing his name, and a statement of his offence. A relapse was punished by death. When the three degrees of torture failed to elicit a confession, the accused was put into a worse prison: if this did not succeed, the inquisitors tried the opposite plan: they made the accused comfortable, allowed his family and friends to have access to him, and led him to think that a confession. of his fault and profession of repentance would procure his pardon. When one suspected of heresy died, or when such suspicion arose after his death, the trial was carried on notwithstanding. If forty years had elapsed between the death of the party and his accusation, his descendants were permitted to remain in their possessions, but were dishonored, and incapable of holding office. If the remains of the accused could be found, they were burnt; if not, then he was burnt in effigy. When a number of trials were concluded, an auto da fe took place, i.e. the condemned were, with great pomp and parade, publicly burnt. (See Auto Da Fe).

A very able article in the Galaxy (May, 1870, p. 647 sq.), entitled Ten Years in Rome, the reader would do well to examine. It is written by one who has held high office under the present Roman pontiff, and who has enjoyed peculiar advantages for an extended examination of the authentic sources on the subject of the Inquisition. The position of subordinate member of the Inquisition (familiare), whose duties consisted in arresting the accused and taking them to prison, was much sought after, even by members of the highest families, on account of the privileges and indulgences attached to. it. The tribunal of Madrid had branches in the provinces and colonies, each composed of three inquisitors, three secretaries, an alguazil, three receivers and assessors, familiars and jailers. Every one connected with the Inquisition had to submit to the Casa limpia, i.e. to prove his descent from honorable and orthodox parents, who had never been summoned before the Inquisition, and to take the oath of secrecy.

From the details of the proceedings of the inquisitorial tribunal which we have just enumerated, it clearly follows that "the Inquisition possessed powers which enabled it effectually to arrest the progress of knowledge, and to crush every attempt which might be made for the reformation of religion and the Church." The terrors which Torquemada's tribunal spread by imprisonment, tortures, etc., not only called forth complaints from the Cortes, but even provoked rebellions, followed by assassinations of the inquisitors (Llorente, 1, 187 sq., 211 sq.); but it still prosecuted its bloody work. The suspicion of belonging to Judaism or Islamism, of protecting Jews or Moors, of practicing soothsaying, magic, and blasphemy, caused an endless number of trials. Upon the inquisitor general's advice, all Jews who would not become Christians were compelled (1492) to emigrate; a similar fate befell the Moors (1501).

The number of victims, as stated by Llorente, the popular historian of the Inquisition, is positively appalling. He affirms that during the sixteen years of Torquemada's tenure of office (1483-1498) nearly 9000 were condemned to the flames, 6500 were burned in effigy, and more than 90,000 were subjected to various penalties, besides a still larger number who were reconciled; "a term which must not be misunderstood by the reader to signify anything like a pardon or amnesty, but only the commutation of a capital sentence for inferior penalties, as fines, civil incapacity, very generally total confiscation of property, and not infrequently imprisonment for life" (Prescott, Ferd. and Isab. 1, 253; comp. also p. 267). His successor, Diego Deza, in eight years (1499-1506), according to the same writer, put above 1600 to a similar death. Under the third general inquisitor, Francis Ximenes de Cisneros (1507-17), 2536 persons were killed, 1368 were burned in effigy, and 47,263 were punished in other ways (Llorente, 4, 252).

Not much better are the records of the proceedings of the other successive inquisitors general. M'Crie (Reform. in Spain, p. 109) very rightly asserts that cardinal Ximenes, more than any other inquisitor general, contributed towards riveting the chains of political and spiritual despotism of Spain. "Possessed of talents that enabled him to foresee the dire effects which the Inquisition would inevitably produce, he was called to take part in public affairs at a time when these effects had decidedly appeared. It was in his power to abolish that execrable tribunal altogether as an insufferable nuisance, or at least to impose such checks upon its procedure as would have rendered it comparatively harmless. Yet he not only allowed himself to be placed at its head, but employed all his influence and address in defeating every attempt to reform its worst and most glaring abuses.

Ximenes had obtained the title of a great man from foreigners as well as natives of Spain. But in spite of the eulogiums passed upon him, I cannot help being of opinion, with a modern writer, that Ximenes bore a striking resemblance to Philip II, with this difference, that the cardinal was possessed of higher talents, and that his proceedings were characterized by a certain openness and impartiality, the result of the unlimited confidence which he placed in his own powers. His character was essentially that of a monk, in whom the severity of his order was combined with the impetuosity of blood which belongs to the natives of the South" (p. 110- 112). Roman Catholics, of course, loudly protest against the credibility of these fearful allegations, assert that Llorente was a violent partisan, and allege that in his work on the Basque Provinces he had already proved himself a venal and unscrupulous fabricator; but they find it impossible to disprove his accuracy, and all that can possibly be done we see clearly in the efforts of one of the Catholic critics-Hefele, in his Life of Cardinal Ximenes-who produces many examples of Llorente's statements which he alleges are of a contradictory and exaggerated nature. Some Protestant historians, of course, fear that Llorente may have been too severe, as is apt to be the case with all apostates, and thus Prescott; in his Ferdinand and Isabella (3, 467-470), has pointed out many instances similar to those which Hefele produces, and Ranke does not hesitate (Fuirsten und Vilker des S Ü dl. Europas, 1, 242) to impeach his honesty; Prescott even pronounces his computations greatly exaggerated," and his "estimates most improbable" (3, 468). Still, with all the deductions which it is possible to make, even Roman Catholics must acknowledge that the working of the Inquisition in Spain, and in its dependencies in the New World too, involves an amount of cruelty which it is impossible to contemplate without horror.

But, in spite of the terrors which it spread, voices were repeatedly heard in Spain to pronounce against it, especially when it developed all its power to crush out evangelical doctrines during the great Reformation of the 16th century. Hatred towards it had spread itself far through the country (M'Crie, Reformation in Spain, chap. 5); and when Charles V ascended the throne, the Cortes of Castile, Aragon, and Catalonia endeavored to bring to pass a reformation of the tribunal (Llorente, 1 376 sq.). Negotiations to accomplish this end were entered into with the papal chair, and concessions were made, but they were not carried out. It directed its power now against those who openly or secretly adhered to evangelical doctrines. It published annually an edict of denunciation, and convened its chief tribunals at Seville and Valladolid. But it also directed its power against such members of its own Church as did not accept the doctrines of the Council of Trent concerning justification.

As, however, they succeeded in entirely suppressing Protestantism in Spain before the beginning of the 17th century, executions became rarer, and in the latter half of the 17th century the Inquisition abated its rigor, and was active principally in suppressing books and persecuting those who possessed or circulated forbidden books. Autos da f É were hardly ever heard of, and, as a result, the tribunal was less feared; and, finally, even Charles III forbade first the execution of capital punishment without royal warrant, and afterwards also set further limits to the power of the Inquisition, preventing it from rendering any final decision without the assent of the king, and also from making any new regulations. In 1762 the grand inquisitor was exiled into a convent for condemning a book against the king's will. In 1770 his minister Aranda circumscribed its power still further by forbidding the imprisonment of any royal subject, unless his guilt was well substantiated; and in 1784 followed the provision that the papers of every suit against a grandee, minister, or any other officer in the employ of the king, should always be presented to the sovereign for inspection before judgment could be pronounced; and although it afterwards regained ground for a while, public opinion proved too averse to it. Even the pope began to restrict its powers, and it was finally abolished in Madrid, Dec. 4,1808, by an edict of Joseph Napoleon. Llorente calculates that from the time of its introduction into Spain (1481) to that date (1808), the Inquisition had condemned in Spain alone 341,021 persons. Of these, 31,912 persons were burnt alive, 17,659 in effigy, and 291,456 others punished severely.

When Ferdinand VII regained the throne of Spain in 1814, one of his first acts was the reestablishment of the Inquisition, but also one of the first acts of the Revolution of 1820 was the destruction of the palace of the Inquisition by the people, and the institution was suppressed by the Cortes. Yet, after the restoration, the apostolical party continued to demand its re-establishment; an inquisitorial junta was organized in 1825, and the old tribunal finally restored in 1826. The law of July 15, 1834, again suspended the Inquisition, after sequestering all-its possessions, and the Constitution of 1855 expressly declares that no one shall be made to suffer for his faith. Yet in 1857 the Inquisition showed itself still very vigorous in persecuting all persons suspected of Protestantism, and all books containing their doctrines. Such as were found with heretical books in their possession, or had read them, were severely punished.

The great political changes which the last few years have wrought on all the civilized world have not been without marked effects on Spain, and have removed not only in a measure, but, we hope, altogether, the deplorable effects of the Romish spirit of unmitigated intolerance, which has ever been praised, preached, and imperatively enjoined as one of the highest of Christian virtues by the antichristian see of Rome. Indeed the Inquisition, not only in Rome, but in every land, the papacy considered its masterpiece, "the firmest and most solid support of its power, both spiritual and temporal. Hence it put all things under the feet of its tribunal in the countries subject to its authority. There the most extravagant maxims were held to be incontestable, and the most unfounded pretensions established beyond dispute. Thus the infallibility of the popes, their superiority to general councils, their dominion over the possessions of all the churches in the world, the power to dispose of them as they pleased, their pretended authority over the temporal concerns of sovereigns, the right which they claim of deposing them, of absolving their subjects from the oath of allegiance, and giving away their dominions, are maxims which none dared to doubt in the countries of the Inquisition, much less to contest them, lest they should expose themselves to all the horrors of that detestable tribunal. No wonder that the popes, in return, so warmly supported all its pretensions, and earnestly and incessantly labored to procure for it so extensive an authority, that it at' length became formidable to the very princes by whom it was adopted" (Shoberl, Persecutions of Popery; 1, 113 sq.). These assertions, written (in 1844) long before the occurrence of the late so auspicious events, deserve especial consideration, as among the first changes which the downfall of the temporal power of the papacy must inevitably bring is religious freedom all over the world. ((Comp. also Guetteee, The Papacy [N. Y. 1867, 12mo], Introd. p. 4 sq.)

Portugal. From Spain the Inquisition was introduced into the different countries over which it held its sway. Thus it was not really introduced into Portugal until its union with Spain in 1557, and only then after much opposition. It is true, under king Joan III of Portugal, an effort was made to establish the tribunal against the New-Christians of that country, imitating the Spaniards in this respect, and Henrique, the bishop of Ceuta, a former Franciscan monk and fanatic, even took the law in his own hands, and executed five New-Christians, to hasten the establishment of the Inquisition. Many reasons swayed in favor to tolerate the Jews in Portugal, and they, of course, were in that country the first against whom the tribunal was intended to direct the bloody work. In 1531 Clement VII was even persuaded to issue a breve (Dec. 17) to introduce the Inquisition, but already, in the year following (Oct. 17, 1532), he revoked this order (comp. Herculano, Origem da Inqusicao em Portugal, 1, 276 sq., et al.).

But when the Inquisition, under Spanish influence, was at last introduced, as in Spain, it became also in Portugal a tribunal of the crown, and it is for this reason Roman Catholic writers argue that the see of Rome cannot be held responsible for the horrible deeds that it enacted in these two countries and in their dependencies. It is true, some of the popes protested against the establishment of the Inquisition as a state tribunal, but it must be remembered that the opposition was directed against it (as in Italy, above) not so much on account of its cruel measures, but because it chose to be independent of Rome. Indeed the popes, feeling their power insufficient to enforce obedience, found themselves compelled, from motives of prudence, to tolerate what they were powerless to suppress; i.e. unable to establish the Inquisition under their own immediate control, with the benefits accruing there from all flowing into their own treasury they yielded to a state tribunal, that gave them at least a part in the proceedings, as well as a part of the spoils. The highest tribunal of the Portuguese Inquisition was, of course, at Lisbon, the capital of the country, and the appointment of the grand inquisitor at the pleasure of the king, nominally also subject to the approval of the pope.

When, finally, Portugal became again independent under the duke of Braganza as John IV (1640), an effort was made by the Royalists to abolish the Inquisition, and to deprive it of the right of sequestration. But John' IV found too strong an opposition in the priesthood, especially in the ever-plotting Jesuits, and he was prevented from executing his intentions successfully. After his death he was himself put under the ban, and his body was only a long time after officially absolved from this, one of the grossest sins a son of Rome could possibly have permitted, the attempt to cleanse his Church from the sin of unrighteousness. In the 18th century the Inquisition was further restricted in its activity and privileges by Pedro II (1706),a and a still more decided step was taken by Pombal under his son and successor, Joseph I.

The Jesuits were expelled from the country, and the inquisitorial tribunal was commanded by law to communicate to the arrested the accusations presented against him or them, the names of the accusers and witnesses, the right of an attorney to hold communication with the accused, and it was furthermore decreed that no sentence should be executed without the assent of the civil courts. At the same time, the auto da fe was also forbidden. After the fall of Pombal and the death of Joseph I the clergy regained their power for a season, but the spirit of enlightenment had made too great inroads not to conflict with the interference of the priests, and under king John VI (1818-26), when "this great engine for the coercion of the human mind, if worked with the unscrupulous, impassive resolution of Machiavellianism," could no longer be made to accomplish its purpose, it breathed its last, and the very records of its proceedings were condemned to the flames.

Netherlands. From Spain the Inquisition was also introduced into the Netherlands as early as the 13th century, and from this time forward exerted in this country, next to Spain, her authority most unscrupulously. Especially active was its tribunal during the Reformation. After a severe edict by Charles V at Worms against the heretics (May 8, 1521), he appointed as inquisitors to the Netherlands his councilor, Franz von der Hulst, and the Carmelite Nicolas of Egmont. They at once set out to do their task, and to inflict the usual penalties on their victims-banishment, etc. and found especial helpmeets in the regent of the Netherlands, Margaret of Austria, in connection with the bishop of Arras, Granvella. The printing, sale, and possession of heretical books were strictly forbidden, and the magistrates were required, under penalty of loss of office, to be active in discovering heretics, and send a quarterly report of their labors to the regent; the informers to receive a considerable reward for any proof (Raumer's Briefe, 1, 164 sq.). Nevertheless, the Reformation spread, and the Inquisition was not even able to prevent the rise of fanatical sects, as the Anabaptists (q.v.), etc. But Charles, determined to uproot the Reformation, issued a new mandate for the organization of the Inquisition after the Spanish form (April 20, 1550) (see Sleidani Commentarii, ed. chr. car. Am Ende: Fref. ad M. 1785, 3, 203; Gerdesii Hist. Reformat. 3, App. p. 122).

But this attempt, like the former one, al-o failed. Maria, the widowed queen of Hungary, who in secret inclined to the Reformation, was now regent. Deputations of the citizens made her aware of the dangers which threatened her on that account; she went immediately to Germany to Charles, and was successful in effecting a change of the mandate in so far that in a new form of it (issued September 25, 1550) the words "Inquisition" and "inquisitors" were omitted. But it was still opposed, and could only be published in Antwerp on the condition of the municipal rights being preserved (Gerdesii, ut sup. 3, 216 sq.). That the Inquisition was very active up to this time in the Netherlands is certain; but the accounts that, under Charles V, 50,000, or even 100,000 persons lost their lives by it in that country (Sculteti Annales, p. 87; Grotii Annales et Historiae de rebus Belgicis, Amst. 1658, p. 12), seems to be exaggerated. When the Netherlands were placed under the government of Philip II a more severe policy was initiated, determined, if possible, not to modify the existing heresies, but to extinguish them altogether The Inquisition was at once set in full motion, and a zeal was manifested by its tribunal worthy of a better cause. But the cruelties which followed a people determined to worship their God in the manner which seemed to them a plain duty could excite no fear. but rather added new fuel to the flame already confined to too narrow limits, and it at last burst forth in all its maddened fury. At first the cities Louvain, Brussels, Antwerp, and Herzogenbusch united in demanding the abolition of the Inquisition. Their example was imitated, and in February, 1556, a league of the nobility, called the Compromise, was formed, which energetically but humbly made the same request (Schr Ö ckh, Kirchengesch. 3, 390 sq.). After some delay this was accomplished in 1567. Shortly after, however, the terrible Alba was dispatched to the Netherlands with unlimited power.

Margaret was forced to resign the regency, and he now proceeded with unheard-of cruelty against those who had become suspected, or whose riches attracted him. Upon the 16th of February, 1568, by a sentence of the holy office, all the inhabitants of the Netherlands were condemned to death as heretics. "From this universal doom only a few persons especially named were excepted. A proclamation of the king, dated ten days later, confirmed this decree of the Inquisition, And Ordered It To Be Carried Into Instant Execution. Three millions of people, men, women, and children, were sentenced to the scaffold in three lines" (Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, 2, 155). But even with these measures they failed in uprooting the Reformation as a dangerous heresy, and in 1573, when the provinces had almost become a waste, and depopulated by the emigration of hundreds of thousands and the execution of thousands of its most valuable citizens, Philip saw himself under the necessity of recalling the duke. The lesson that had been taught Spain was, however, insufficient to incline her to moderation. Philip now, as much as ever, was determined to uproot heresy by force, and these further attempts resulted finally in the independence of the northern provinces of the Netherlands, by a formidable union which they formed at Utrecht in 1579, and which the peace of Westphalia guaranteed to them. In the southern provinces the Jesuits continued to rule for a time, but soon there also the spirit of freedom abrogated their power, and the Inquisition, "all-seeing as Providence, inexorable as the grave; not inflicting punishment which the sufferer could remember but remorselessly killing outright; not troubling itself to ascertain the merits of a case, and giving the accused the benefits of a doubt, but regarding suspicion and certainty as the same thing," was driven from the land.

Countries outside of Europe. The Inquisition was introduced into the transatlantic countries also by Portugal, and especially by Spain, to which "the see of Rome, in virtue of the universal authority which it arrogated, had granted all the countries which she might discover beyond the Atlantic," and the Spaniards, reflecting that they had expelled the Jews, the hereditary and inveterate enemies of Christianity, from their coasts, and overturned the Mohammedan empire which had been established for ages in the Peninsula, began to consider themselves as the favorites of Heaven, destined to propagate and defend the true faith, and "thus the glory of the Spanish arms became associated with the extirpation of heresy." In the New World the Inquisition established its power, especially in Mexico. It was also terribly severe in Carthagena and Lima. By the Portuguese it was taken to East India, and had its chief seat at Goa. Under John VII of Portugal it was, after it had undergone several modifications, wholly abolished both in Brazil and East India.

Literature. Nicol Eymericus, Directorium inquisitorum (Barcelona, 1503; Rome, 1578, etc.; with commentaries by Pegna, Venice, 1607); Ursini, Hispan. inquisitionis et carnificinae secretiora (Antw. 1611); Limborch. Historia Inquisitionis (Amst. 1692); Pl Ü m, Ursprung u. Absichten d. 1.; Maurique, Sammlung d. Instructionen d. Spanischen L (1630); Cramer, Briefe 2. die I. (Leipzig, 1784-85, 2 vols.); Erzahlungen

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [5]

An ecclesiastical tribunal established in 1248 under Pope Innocent IV., and set up successively in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the S. of France, for the trial and punishment of heretics, of which that established in Spain achieved the greatest notoriety from the number of victims it sacrificed, and the remorseless tortures to which they were subjected, both when under examination to extort confession and after conviction. The rigour of its action began to abate in the 17th century, but it was not till 1835, after frequent attempts to limit its power and suppress it, that it was abolished in Spain. Napoleon suppressed it in France in 1808, and after an attempted revival from 1814 to 1820, its operations there came to an end. St. Dominic ( q. v .) has the credit of having invented the institution by the zeal which animated him for the orthodoxy of the Church.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [6]

in - kwi - zish´un ( דּרשׁ , dārash , "to follow," "diligently inquire," "question," "search" (  Deuteronomy 19:18;  Psalm 9:12 ), בּקשׁ , baḳash , "to search out," "to strive after," "inquire" ( Esther 2:23 )): The term refers, as indicated by these passages, first of all to a careful and diligent inquiry necessary to ascertain the truth from witnesses in a court, but may also refer to a careful examination into circumstances or conditions without official authority.