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a few years ,
fatigue, that he was unable to lift his hand. a) In the course of
after the reduction of the Mexican empire, the facrament of baptism was administered to more than four milJions. b) Profelytes adopted with such inconfiderate hafte, and who were neither instructed in the nature of the tenets to which it was fupposed they had given assent, nor taught the absurdity of those which they were required to relinquish, retained their veneration for their ancient superftitions in full force, or mingled an attachment to its doctrines and rites with that slender knowledge of Christianity which they acquired. These sentiments the new converts transmitted to their posterity, into whose, minds they have funk fo deep, that the Spanish ecclesiasticks, with all their industry, have not been able to eradicate them. The religious inftitutions of their ancestors are ftill remembered, and held in honour by the Indians, both in Mexico and Peru, and whenever they think themselves out of reach of inspection by the Spaniards, they affemble and celebrate their idolatrous rites, c)
But this is not the most unfurmountable oba stacle to the progress of Christianity among the Indians. The powers of their uncultivated un
a) P. Torribio, MS. Torquem. Mond, Ind. lib. xvi, c. 6.
0.38i Gage , I7I.
account i be excluded rift, d) And bull, iffyed i to be rational vileges of Ch of two centui members of t attainments :
derftandings are fo limited, their observations and reflections reach fo little beyond the mere objects of sense, that they seem hardly to have the capacity of forming abftract ideas, and polsess not language to express them. To fuch men, the sublime and spiritual doctrines of Christianity must be incon prebensible. The numerous and splendid ceremonies of the popish worship catch the eye, please and intereft them; but when their instructors attempt to explain the articles of faith, with which those external observances are connected, though the Indians may liften with patience, they so little conceive the meaning of what they hear, that their acquiescence does not merit the name of belief. Their indifference is ftill greater than their incapacity. Attentive only to the present moment, and ingrofied by the objects before them, the Indians seldom reflect upon what is paft, or take thought for what is to come, that neither the promises, nor threats of religion, make much impression upon them; and while their forefight rarely extends so far as the next day, it is almost impoflible to inspire them with solicitude about the concerns of a future world. Aftonifoed equally at their foWness of comprehension, and at their insensibility, some of the early missionaries pronounced them a race of men so brutish, as to be incapable of understanding the first principles of religion. A council held at Lima decreed, that,
fels such a p
as to be dee
the holy comi incapacity and when the zea quisition in Ar diaps were ex that severe trik der the inspec after the most held to be feet of them haveb and have gone academick edu is ftill so much either ordained religious order
d) Torquem. lib. e) Torquem, lib.
) Voyde Ulloa 8) Recopil. lib. v h) Torquem, lig
mited, their observation lo little beyond the mert
account of this incapacity, they ought to be excluded from the facrament of the Eucha. rift, d) And though Paul III, by his famous bull, ifsued in the year 1537, declared them to be rational creatures, entitled to all the privileges of Christians; e) yet, after the lapse of two centuries, during which they have been members of the church, so imperfect are their attainments in knowledge, that very few pofsess such a portion of fpiritual discernment, as to be deemed worthy of being admitted to the holy communion, f) From this idea of their incapacity and imperfect knowledge of religion, when the zeal of Philip II. established the inquisition in America in the year 1570, the Indians were exempted from the jurisdiction of that severe tribunal, g) and still continue un, der the inspection of their diocesans. Even after the most perfect instruction, their faith is held to be feeble and dubious, and though some of them have been taught the learned languages, and have gone through the ordinary course of academick education with applause, their frailty is still so much fufpected, that no Indian is either ordained a priest, or received into any religious order. h)
they seem hardly to have g abstract ideas, and pols express them. To fuck fpiritual doctrines of Chril n prebensible. The nuceremonies of the popith
, please and intereft then uctors attempt to explais
with which those external ected, though the Indians ence, they fo little con of what they hear, that es not merit the name rence is ftill greater than entive only to the prefect ?d by the objects before dom reflect upon what is t for what is to come
ses, nor threats of reli presfion upon them; and ely extends so far as the ift impossible to inspire out the concerņs of a fire d equally at their sow:
and at their insensibili millionaries pronounced
brutish, as to be inca je first principles of reat Lima decreed, that
d) Torquem, lib. xviç Ce 20
Produ&ions of the Spanish colonies. :) i From this brief survey, some idea may be formed of the interior state of the Spanish co.,, lonies. The various productions with which they supply and enrich the mother-country, and the system of commercial intercourse between them, come next in order to be ex- , plained. If the dominions of Spain in the New World had been of such moderate extent, as bore a due proportion to the parent state, the progress of her colonizing might have been attended with the same benefit as that of other nations. But when, in less than half a century, her inconsiderate rapacity had seized on countries larger than all Europe, her inability to fill such vast regions with a number of inhabitants sufficient for the cultivation of them, was so obvious, as to give a wrong direction to all the efforts of the colonists. They did not form compact settlements, where industry, circumscribed within proper limits, both in its views and operations, is conducted with that fober persevering spirit, which gradually converts whatever is in its poffeffion to a proper use, and derives thence the greatest advantage. Instead of this, the Spaniards, seduced by the boundless prospect which opened to them, divided their poffeffions in America into governments of vast extent. As their number was too finall to attempt the regular culture of the
7 which opened to the
...ces of the Spanish colonies,
immenfe provinces, which they occupied ra: ther than peopled; they bent their attention to a few objects, that allured them with hopes of sudden and exorbitant gain, and turned away with contempt from the humbler paths of industry, which lead more flowly, but with greater certainty, to wealth and increase of national strength.
brief survey, fome idea muy interior state of the Spanii a acions productions with whic d enrich the mother count
of commercial intercourle bi come next in order to be i dominions of Spain in the la 1 of fuch moderate extent, sortion to the parent state, colonizing might have beer? e fame benefit as that of our
From their mines.
hen, in less than half a
iderate rapacity had feize? ivan all Europe, her inali gions with a number of it for the cultivation of the as to give a wrong diret of the colonists. Thers ettlements, where indator
Of all the methods by which riches may be acquired, that of searching for the precious metals is one of the most inviting to men, who are either unaccustomed to the regular asfiduity with which the culture of the earth and the operations of commerce must be carfied on, or so enterprising and rapacious as not to be satisfied with the gradual returns of profit which they yield. Accordingly, as foon as the several countries in America were suba jected to the dominion of Spain, this was almost the only method of acquiring wealth which occurred to the adventurers, by whom they were conquered. Such provinces of the continent as did not allure them to settle, by the prospect to their affording gold and silver, were totally neglected. Thole in which they met with a disappointment of the sanguine exs pectations they had formed, were abandoned, Even the value of the islands, the first fruits of their discoveries, and the firft object of
in proper limits, both is 'ns, is conducted with this virit, which gradually are in its pofleffion to a propea ence the greatest adrantas le Spaniards, feduced
ns in America into governa
As their number wa. the regular culture of the